Dec 31, 2012 4:00am PST
sequester. >> under current law on january 1st, 2013, there's going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases. i hope that congress will look at that and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date. >> there's still significant distance between the two sides, but negotiations continue. there's still time left to reach an agreement. and we intend to continue negotiations. >> and so, here we are, new year's eve, and the country counts down to popping champagne corks, the ball dropping in times square, and going over the fiscal cliff. if congress fails to act in the remaining hours of 2012, taxes will go up on all americans and a series of mandatory government spending cuts will kick in. hello, new year. hello, new recession. after two years of missing self-imposed deadline after self-imposed deadline, all eyes were on the senate over the weekend as the house's failure to even bring a plan to a vote left it up to the upper chamber to find a way out. vice president biden who had remained on the sidelines in this round of t
Dec 27, 2012 3:00am PST
right. we like that. >> so a top story today, one of the ledges of the fiscal cliff, those automatic spending cuts that almost certainly are going to kick in. we don't see that being part of some last-second deal. hit the defense department. but the pentagon's real problem is not those cuts, but the ones that are going to be coming over the next decade. we talked to military contractors, top officials at the pentagon. they see a long period of downward decline. that after the war in afghanistan, there's going to be a period of austerity. they're calling it -- they have a term around the pentagon, a very graphic self-amputation as they cut back over the years. and this was one of the reasons that president obama had, at the top of his short list, the former republican senator, still a republican, chuck hagel of nebraska. he's somebody who's talked about the pentagon as being bloated, had very specific ideas about how to cut it. but mike, sam, the table, we're hearing that that trial balloon has been popped. that senator hagel has a possibility for secretary of defense, has really lost a lot of altitude.
Dec 31, 2012 5:00am PST
that tax breaks for the wealthiest americans are protected. >> fiscal cliff negotiations are now down to the wire with a midnight deadline just hours away. that's tonight, new year's eve. at stake, the prospect of sweeping tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts if a deal is not reached. and all indications are it's not looking good. here's the latest. the senate is scheduled to reconvene at 11:00 this morning. any deal today would have to be rushed through both chambers of congress before midnight. as talks in the senate stalled yesterday, minority leader mitch mcconnell reached out to someone he believed could help jump-start the negotiations and perhaps deliver an 11th-hour compromise. that's vice president joe biden. mcconnell and biden reportedly spoke several times by phone throughout the night after talks with harry reid came to a halt. welcome back, everyone, to "morning joe." that's the latest. ed rendell and jeffrey sachs all with us along with sam stein and michael steele in washington. joining us also in washington, senior national correspondent for "bloomberg businessweek," joshua green. and joshua, before we go on to what led to this doomsday scenario that we're facing right now, which was all set up by lawmakers in washington, tal